Kempton clerk of the course Brian Clifford is expecting a thoroughly competitive renewal of the 32Red King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.
Last year’s winner Might Bite is one of 10 declared for the race, with Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Native River another key name in the field for the Christmas feature.
However, with an undercard also featuring Nicky Henderson’s dual Champion Hurdle winner Buvuer D’Air and some well-regarded runners set to to clash in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase, Clifford is anticipating an exciting couple of days at the Sunbury venue.
He said: “It’s such a competitive race this year. You can’t really say there’s a real flagbearer in there, but you’d have to give every horse a chance which makes for great sport.
“We’ve also got Buveur D’Air to look forward to and Santini, as well as La Bague Au Roi in a really good novice chase. Then we have Altior to look forward to on Thursday. Special Tiara is also here and had a spin on Christmas Day morning.
“It’s a great two days and it’s all systems go.”
Clifford reports the ground to be in fine order ahead of the meeting.
He added: “The ground is good to soft, good in places – probably about 50-50 and the track is in good nick. It should be great conditions.”